Managua is known by most visitors for the international airport, and normally is not the first city that comes to mind when thinking of Nicaragua, especially if you are not travelling for business. Managua is however a city with almost two million inhabitants and many green areas.
Nicaragua’s capital (since 1855) is often described as being dangerous and a place to avoid. Although visitors should take certain precautions, Managua is really not a city that should be avoided for safety concerns.
In 1972, an earthquake almost completely destroyed the city and took more than ten thousand lives. The lack of a historic city center means that Managua is a city to travel by taxi or private vehicle. Directions are not always clear, because the streets have no name (this was the inspiration for rockband U2 to write the song ’Where the streets have no name’). Nowadays, Managua has recovered from this natural disaster, and what remains is an interesting city with big contrasts between the poor and the rich. Managua still has a lot to offer: theaters, museums, bars, restaurants, discotheques, cinemas, etcetera. At Roberto Huembes market, you can experience an authentic street market and buy excellent handcrafts.

Nature and beach are also within an arm’s reach: in the city, you can enjoy the views at the Tiscapa Lagoon (of volcanic origin) and even do a canopy tour if you like. Just outside the city, the Montibelli bird & butterfly reserve and the Chocoyero reserve are some of the natural highlights.
On the Pacific Coast, an hour away, at Pochomil and Montelimar, you will find some of Nicaragua’s most impressive beaches.
Enjoy Managua

Managua City Tour
Old and modern Managua in a nutshell

First of all you will enjoy a city overniew from the Tiscapa viewpoint. With clear weather, you can see quite a lot of volcanoes north of the city and the contrast between the old and the modern city. The famous revolutionary General Sandino is overlooking the Tiscapa crater lake.
Then, you head for the old city, visiting the National Palace with its history museum, the old cathedral, the National Theater as well as the President’s house. In this area, we will also witness the very basic living conditions of some of the poorest people of the nation.
The next stop will be the authentical market ‘Roberto Huembes’ offering all kinds of tropical fruits, vegetables and handcraft.
The end of the tour will focus on modern Managua, with business centers, shopping malls, bars, restaurants and other attractions.




Duration: 4 hours

Start: 08:00 AM | 14:00 PM
End: 12.00 PM | 18:00 PM

Included:
Pick-up at hotel
Transportation
Entrance fees
Bilingual guide

Tiscapa Canopy Tour
Sliding down the crater!

The Tiscapa canopy tour is one of the best kept exciting secrets right in the city centre of Managua.
Of course, you will be well‐harnessed and instructed by a professional. From the Tiscapa viewpoint, you will then glide down the rope over the crater lake at an altitude of about 70 meters. There are three long cables with a total length of 1.2 kilometers, and the length of them will allow you to reach a speed of up to 50 kilometers per hour, which will certainly boost your adrenaline levels.
But it is also fun in a lower speed, for example experimenting a bit with poses, such as ‘upside down’ or ‘the superman pose’. It is safe for children as well as for adults and if it really gives you the creeps, you can do it with an instructor as well.
This tour can also be combined with a city tour.



Duration: 3 hours
Start: 08:00 AM | 14:00 PM
End: 11:00 AM | 17:00 PM

Included:
Pick-up hotel
Transportation
Entrance fees + help of instructors

El Chocoyero
Natural splendours just south of Managua

The ‘Refugio de Vida Silvestre Chocoyero‐El Brujo’ originates from 1993. The 184 hectares of forest consist of two types: dry and premontane (more humid) and gives shelter to more than 200 species of vertebrates, of which 172 species of birds. A chocoyo is a green parakeet, which are abundantly present in the reserve and nest in the big rock wall near a waterfall.
To get to the park, you travel about 30 kilometers and especially the last few are interesting, as you will see coffee, banana and pineapple plantations on the way.
Once arrived, you will hike for about 1.5 hours and do the Congo and the Chocoyero trail, visiting a waterfall and having good chances to spot, or at least hear, howler monkeys and of course the chocoyos.
The project has a strong link with the local community, who provide guides (only in Spanish) and sometimes sell their agricultural products at the visitor’s center.



Duration: 5 hours
Start: 05.00 AM | 14.00 PM
End: 10.00 AM | 19.00 PM

Included:
Transportation
Entrance fees
Bilingual guide + local community guide


City Tour Granada
Exploring the city in a horse-drawn carriage

After a 45-minute drive to Granada you will enjoy a traditional horse-drawn carriage ride through this impressive city, situated right at the Lake of Nicaragua.
Granada, founded in 1524 by the Spaniards, is one of the oldest cities of the continent with European founders.
You will visit the following places:

+ The San Francisco Convent and Church (1529)
+ The San Francisco museum with several archaeological treasures from Isla Zapatera, a primitive art exhibit, and historical display.
+ La Polvora fortress.
+ The Xalteva Church and the old city walls, the most antique part of Granada.


Your guide will take you for a walk now and then and will show you his/her native city up close. After the tour, you will return to your hotel in Managua

Duration: 5 hours
Start: 08:00 AM
End: 13:00 PM

Included:
Transportation Managua-Granada-Managua
Trip by horsedrawn carriage
Bilingual guide
Entrance fees

Note: Extend this tour to a full day tour including lunch and a boat trip through Las Isletas de Granada.

‘Noche Nicaragüense’ in Masaya
Folklore festival (only on Thursdays)

Nicaragua is all about traditions, as you will notice during your stay. Therefore, be sure to visit the folkloristic Thursday night in Masaya: music and dance will completely enchant you with the Nicaraguan culture and traditions.
The festival is at the old market, where you will see a wide range of dance performances with their Indian and Western influences, but especially with their very colourful clothing. Besides dance performances, there will also be a few musical performances, from which the high quality will certainly surprise you.
During and in between the performances, you can enjoy one of the stands serving typical local food, always hearing the marimbas (typical percussion instruments) on the background. After a great night, you will be brought back to your hotel.
On Fridays and Saturdays, we can arrange a cultural night for you in Managua or Granada.


Duration: 5 hours
Start: 18:00 PM
End: 23:00 PM

Included:
Transportation Managua-Masaya-Managua
Entrance fees

Masaya Volcano and Market
Get to know the surroundings of Managua in a day

You will visit some of the top sites in the direct surroundings of Managua today:

+ Masaya volcano (National Park).
+ Masaya handicrafts market.
+ Cantarina and Apoyo crater lake.
+ San Juan de Oriente (ceramics).

You will view the Santiago crater up close and if you are lucky you can spots small green parrots (Chocoyo's) living inside the crater. At the Masaya market, you can buy all kinds of souvenirs, such as hammocks, ceramics and paintings.You will have lunch at the romantic village of Catarina, to enjoy the spectacular viewpoint over the Apoyo craterlake, with a diameter of 6 kilometers (!).
Later in the afternoon, you will visit the village of San Juan de Oriente, famous for its ceramics. You will learn about the production process of ceramics.

Duration:6 hours
Start: 08:00 AM
End: 14:00 PM

Included:
Transportation
Bilingual guide
Entrance fees
Scenic lunch

Lava Night Tour
Nocturnal volcano adventure

The nocturnal tour of Masaya volcano is an event in itself: right before sunset you will brougth to Masaya volcano. After overlooking the volcano and its surroundings, you will hopefully see the green "Chocoyos" (Parkeets) returning to their nests in the crater.
Also, huge amounts of bats will leave theirs caves at around the same time. Then you will visit an unsderground tunnel formed by lavastreams. Later on, you will have the opportunity to actually look inside the carter mouth, right into the lava activity of a recent crater formed in 2006. The red glow of the lava lightens the whole surroundings, which make the experience truly unforgettable.






Duration: 5 hours
Start: 15:30 PM
End: 20:30 PM

Included:
Transport (to and in the park)
Bilingual guide and guided walk
Entrance fees

Chacocente Wildlife Refuge - overnight adventure tour
Discover Paradise Lost, enjoy local community life

“Refugio de Vida Silvestre Río Escalante Chacocente” is situated in the southern Pacific coast of Nicaragua, approximately 3 hours by car, south of the capital Managua. It is characterized by its unique position: the mile long beach of Chacocente counts as one of the 7 beaches worldwide where hundreds of turtles come to the beach in order to lay their eggs, in what is known as the “Arribada nights”. It is an impressive event! Beyond that, Chacocente is situated in the middle of the largest remaining tropical dry forest in Nicaragua, where you can observe various kinds of birds or howler monkeys jumping around in the trees in the mornings.
Vapues Tours is working together with the tourism cooperative COSERTUCHACO in Chacocente, offering you the opportunity to get to know their fascinating community-based tourism project. This entails living with the open-hearted locals, in 7/8 person tents (equipped with comfortable beds), having a unique chance to gain an insight in the Nicaraguan way of life. All money spent stays directly with the local community and contributes to an improvement of their living standards. At the same time you also support the preservation of the tropical dry forest as well as of the ocean turtles. The cozy installations of the tourism cooperative are situated a few meters from the wonderful, sandy beach of Chacocente, in the middle of the tropical dry forest. The members of the tourism cooperative are happy to welcome you in their installations and their restaurant, where they cook traditional Nicaraguan food for you!
Chacocente has until now been completely untouched by mass tourism, invites you to spend some relaxing days in the middle of nature and guarantees a unique and authentic stay!

DAY ONE
Granada-Astillero-Chacocente

You will be picked up in the lobby of your hotel and be brought to the fishing village Astillero, where a guide of the tourism cooperative will be waiting for your arrival. The ride to Astillero leads through the small cities of Diriamba and Jinotepe which are known for their folklore as well as through many friendly little villages, in which you can observe well the traditional Nicaraguan life in the country. From Astillero you will hike along the beautiful wide beach to the installations of the tourism cooperative in the Refuge De Vida Silvestre Rio Escalante Chacocente (duration of the hike approximately 1.5 hours). A well trained guide will be more than pleased to tell you something about their community-based tourism project on the way into the Refuge. Once arrived in Chacocente, you will have enough time to move into your tent, relax in one of the many cozy hammocks, to have small talk with the friendly tourism cooperative or to give yourself a boost at the local restaurant. You can use the afternoon for chilling-out on the beach and going for a swim in the ocean. In the late afternoon you make a hike up to the scenic lookout with a local guide from where you can see the sun setting into the Pacific Ocean and from where you will have an amazing view over the entire Refuge and the tropical dry forest. On the way you have the chance to spot all kinds of birds and howler monkeys and the guide is more than happy to explain to you the local flora and fauna. After a delicious warm dinner you have some time to chill out in the hammocks before going to the beach with a local guide in order to look for giant turtles. With some luck you will even see some baby turtles crawling out of their nests to find their way to the ocean. The guide will explain all about the turtles and the danger of extinction while you are searching for the turtles.
Accommodation: You will stay in basic 7/8person tents of the tourism cooperative which is equipped with comfortable beds and situated close to the beach. The tourism cooperative offers you delicious, traditional food in a local restaurant. Due to the remote location of Chacocente, there is neither running water nor electricity available in the installations (solar panels are however planned in the near future). Lamps and enough drinking water are always available in the restaurant.

DAY TWO
Horseride to La Chota -Jinotepe

After a delicious early breakfast, you will make a 3 hour horseback ride with a local guide through the impressive Refuge, passing the River Chacocente until finally reaching the community of La Chota. Once you arrive there, you will have enough time to visit the community or you can walk up to the look-out of La Chota and enjoy a last view over Chacocente and the Wildlife Refuge. After a tasty local lunch in one of the houses of the cooperative and a farewell, the driver of COSERTUCHACO will bring you back to your hotel, or on to the next destination...






Duration: 4 hours

Start: 08:00 AM | 14:00 PM
End: 12.00 PM | 18:00 PM

Included:
- All accomodations
- All meals (1st day: lunch + dinner, 2nd day Breakfast + lunch)
- Transfer hotel - Astillero
- Tour to the lookout in Chacocente and turtle observation with a local guide
- Horseback ride to La Chota
- Transfer La Chota - hotel
- Detailed travel information, maps and vouchers at the beginning of the trip

Not Included:
- Entry to the Refuge (5 US$ to be paid on-site to the Department of the Environment)
- Optional community tours
- Personal expenses